Songs with Style in Student Recital

The Timken Room witnessed yet another extraordinary display of student talent at 2:00 in the afternoon last Wednesday. During the recital, several Phillips Academy students took to the stage and performed a wide range of instruments with Instructor in Music Christopher Walter assisting as the piano accompanist. Anne Snyder ’03 kicked off the afternoon with a bold, intense piece by Edward Grieg. The excerpt from “Piano concerto in A minor” sounded like echoes emanating from a pit of despair. Kevin Dalias ’05 followed Snyder’s moving presentation with an excellent rendition of the famous “Aria for Trumpet” by Georg Golterman. The song’s jazzy and childlike character matched the sunny atmosphere in the room. The fine playing of Sarah Hogan ’03 on the acoustic guitar was next on the program. Though scheduled to play two songs, she played only “Circles” by Joe Satriani. The earthy song jumped out of her guitar, surprising the audience with its natural tones. Katie O’Reilly ’04, a soprano, impressed the modest gathering with her innovative musical styling. She sang a song by Jaques Offenbach, entitled “Elle a fui, la tourterelle.” Her pronunciation of the Italian lyrics and her ringing pitch were precise. The accompaniment, also exquisite, supplemented her voice with heart-wrenching power. Alexander Chin ’05 flawlessly presented Chopin’s “Nocturne Op. 27, No. 1.” During the piece, the audience was captivated as his entire being was seemingly absorbed in the intensity of the music. Trumpet prodigy Ben Heller ’05 came next. His flawless rendition of Flor Peeters’s “Sonata for Trumpet, Allegro” was also accompanied by Mr. Walter on the piano. The piece was a jazzy march with a complicated tempo. Nick Pappadopoulos ’04 marked the middle of the concert with “Fantasie on D minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Katie O’Reilly called the piece “romantic,” commenting, “he played it well.” Flutist Elizabeth Ryznar ’05 took the stage next. Throughout the upbeat song, Rösslen-Rosetti’s “Concerto in D major,” Ryznar maintained an amazingly fast tempo. Ryznar also made the performance seem effortless. She easily followed the piano’s lead and skillfully added in the flute’s high notes. The harp was then dragged into the center of the stage. Stephanie Chen ’05 took a seat and began “Salomina” by Carlos Salzedo. The music could easily be coming from a guitar and was very fluid. Chan’s hands moved swiftly over the strings with a deftness not often seen in beginning players. Soprano Courtney Blackwell ’06, a junior active in both the music and theater departments, sang a song indicative of her many hats – “One Hand, One Heart,” from the popular musical West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. The inspirational love song was beautifully executed as Blackwell’s strong voice echoed through the room. Ben Landy, an eighth grader from the local area, played “Invention in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach. The young musician showed his accomplishments in executing the fast tempo and complicated sequencing required by the piece. My Khanh Ngo ’06 played two pieces on the piano. The first, “Prelude No. 7,” by George Frederic Handel, was written in a minor tone but was nevertheless very upbeat. Ngo’s second piece, entitled “The Little Shepherd,” is part of a series from Claude Debussy, called Children’s Corner. The piece also was joyful and upbeat, but some minor notes suggested a tinge of nostalgia in the song. Maria Lechtarova ’06 played the piano next. “The Hunting Song” by Felix Mendelossohn was strong and fast-paced. Senior performances allowed the audience to witness the talents of some of the more mature student musicians on campus. Joan Huang ’03 played Chopin’s “Waltz in E minor” with soft intensity. David Desruisseau ’03 played Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Violin Sonata No. 5, ‘Spring’ in F major Allegro ma non troppo.” The piece, a brilliant example of baroque composition, was a duet for violin and piano. The piece achieved a unique sound while staying politely within the sonata form. Last to play was Pumelele Maquebela ’06. His piece, another by Beethoven, was called “Sonata in D major, Op. 10, No.3 Presto.” The neutral tones of the piece only echoed the brilliant playing. His flawless style reflected his obvious enjoyment of the piano. The afternoon displayed a strong representation from senior musicians, as well as the appearances of many newcomers to Andover’s music scene.